If you've read our review of Persephone, you can probably guess that I'm a huge fan of Persephone retellings. If you haven't, well... I am a huge fan of Persephone retellings. Is it the original Bad Boy story? Maybe. But there's something more to be explored in retellings. In most of these stories, Persephone isn't trapped in the underworld when she eats pomegranate seeds, she makes a choice, and it's that agency, her claiming of her own body and sexuality, that pulls me like a magnet to these tales.
Content Warning - There's a scene in the comic where Apollo coerces Persephone into sex. It's not graphic, but it will be triggering for some readers.
Lore Olympus is a modern retelling of the Myth of Persephone, told in a distinctive art style and voice. There's humor and quirky updates, like the ways in which Zeus, Poseidon and Hades are literal and metaphorical bros. Zeus and Hera still fight, but the modern lens casts Hera as a feminist instead of a jealous shrew.
Hades is the ultimate sensitive emo guy, wearing suits and glasses and hiding his insecurities. He's been with a nymph named Minthe who treats him abominably, and those of you familiar with the Greek myths will recognize her as the nymph that Persephone transformed into a Mint plant in a fit of jealousy.
Anyway, the story starts when Hades reluctantly goes to Zeus's party and spots Persephone, who is there with her roommate and BFF, Artemis. Aphrodite overhears Hades saying that Persephone is more beautiful than Aphrodite and ropes her son Eros into playing a trick on them both. Eros drugs Persephone and puts her in the backseat of Hades car. Hades drives home (because you can drive to the underworld?!) and doesn't realize she's in his car until he gets out. He doesn't know where she lives, so he tucks her in for the night and waits for her to wake up.
Aphrodite's big plan is to get Demeter (Persephone's mum) and Artemis and basically everyone really angry at Hades. Persephone's reputation might also get a ding, and her revenge will be complete.
Except that's not how it turns out.
There's some drama, but Persephone and Hades are both good people/gods, so nothing untoward happens and then the big crushes start and *swoon.* The set-up takes a little while, but by the time the two of them are texting and petting his seven dogs and bickering about who drives the car? You'll be craving the weekly updates.
This WebToon is updated in weekly episodes, and Rachel Smythe has embraced the webtoon format by creating a vertical comic that's meant to be read while scrolling. Conversations happen as you scroll down the page, and the watercolor art sometimes streams or bubbles along with. It's all pops of color on an ink and blue background, with Persephone in bright pink and Hades in a bold blue. Bodies are exaggerated, backgrounds are muted, but the overall effect is very romantic and compelling. The gods are each a different color, like in the animated Disney version of Hercules, and as you settle into the comic you start to associate colors with personalities. It's creative and quite lovely.
TL;DR - If you like Persephone and Hades retellings, you must check this out. And if you back the Patreon, there are even some NSFW sketches.